LouIsa: Iron Dove of the Frontier by Will Edwinson Genre: Western Historical Fiction
THE IRON DOVE OF THE FRONTIER...
At twenty-one, LouIsa was already a sagacious woman. She had been privileged to attend finishing schools in the East where she learned the ways of "Ladyship" and studied piano under the tutorship of masters, becoming proficient with the classical works of Mozart, Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt, and many others.
LouIsa: Iron Dove of the Frontier is a story about a tough, but well-educated genteel woman of quiet strength who, when it became necessary, could get down and dirty and fight as adeptly as the best gutter rats. But also, when necessary, she could don a party dress and be perfectly comfortable with Vassar graduates.
Tombstone, Arizona, March 18, 1882.
The pistol roared, the assailant heard Morgan cry out, “What the hell…?” and then saw him fall face down on the pool table.
“We finally got you, you law dawg son of a bitch.” Pete Spencer stood trembling outside the poolroom, the smoking gun still in his hand as he uttered the words quietly to himself.
Before he made his escape, he glanced through the window at the stunned crowd. His action had caught them completely off guard. Not one of them suspected what he might be up to when he quietly removed himself from the poolroom earlier that evening.
With two people on each side of his collapsed body, they carefully lifted Morgan off the pool table and laid him on his back on the floor.
“Go fetch LouIsa,” one of them said. Another said, “Better get Wyatt and Virgil too, and the Doc. I don’t think Morgan has much of a chance of makin’ it, but he’s still alive and needs a doc.”
Louisa was cradling Morgan’s head in her lap when Wyatt entered the room. He knelt beside his brother; his vision blurred from the tears that welled in his eyes. He blinked to fight them back; his gut wrenched. When his eyes finally focused, he looked around the room.
“Who did this?” he asked. “Did anyone see who did the actual shooting?”
One man spoke up and said, “I didn’t actually see the shootin’, but I did see Pete Spencer leave the poolroom about a half hour before Morgan was shot.”
“Come to think about it,” said another, I saw the little weasel sneak out of here m’self.”
“But none of you actually saw Spencer fire the shot,” Wyatt said. It was more of a statement than a question. They all agreed, none could swear to seeing the shooting.
Wyatt looked at LouIsa. He agonized at the pain he saw in her eyes, and the tortured expression on her face. He sensed she was in another time, another place. He reached out and lightly touched her shoulder.
LouIsa looked up at him. Again, he saw her pain. “Come, LouIsa,” he said, “I’ll have someone escort you home.
She heard nothing of what he said. She was aware only of her own thoughts. She continued to hug her husband and rub his face softly with her hand, her mind engulfed in her own private thoughts. Why, Morgan, why? You said you would hang up your guns if I accompanied you to Tombstone. Why couldn’t you have stayed out of the law business like you promised? If you had stuck to prospecting or gambling, this would never have happened. But when you saw the lawlessness that was here, I guess I should’ve known better than to think that you could let it stand without trying to do something about it. And then worst of all, my darling, you forgot the last thing I told you before you walked out of the house tonight. ‘Don’t turn your back on anyone.’
She nestled him closer to her bosom. Morgan had been unconscious the whole time and knew nothing of what she had been thinking. She heard a gurgle come from his throat and felt him give one last desperate gasp for air. She realized he had just died in her lap.
She loved this man who lay in her lap more than life itself. She had only longed to devote herself to living for one man building a life with him and raising a family in a little cabin with flowers and a white picket fence. Her health had prevented her from having a family, and now the rest of her dream had just been shattered by an assassin’s bullet.
LouIsa was part Cherokee Indian, and it was now that she needed the inner strength that her Cherokee grandmother had instilled in her. She never let LouIsa forget that part of her heritage as she taught her the ways of her people. Cherokee life was hard; their women had to be strong.
LouIsa broke into a soft wailing of the mourning song of her Cherokee people, and as she mourned her husband’s death, she relived the last several years.
Buddy... His Trials and Treasures by Will Edwinson Genre: Contemporary Historical Fiction
Do you need a little stress relief in your life?
Travel back to the world of Buddy Crawford, a simpler, slower- paced world where Cokes were a nickel, movie tickets were a dime, and ten cents bought you a double dip ice cream cone. These engaging, award-winning stories about a young boy growing up in rural America during the 1940s provide a relaxing respite from today's fast-paced world. They may even revive old memories of your own childhood.
Follow Buddy and Cousin Mont as they gather beer and pop bottles from the roadway barrowpits. Join him and his friends at the river swimming hole for a swim, or go fishing for carp in the irrigation canal. Experience the fun as he tours the countryside in an old Model T Ford with his friends. What better way to spend a relaxing two hours than immersing yourself in these stories.
Buddy is somewhat reminiscent of Tom Sawyer in that he quite often finds himself in hot water. Unlike Tom, Buddy's misdeeds are without forethought. They happen because Buddy is...well...he's just Buddy.
The year was 1944; it was Buddy’s ninth summer, and today was the first day of summer vacation. Buddy lay in bed listening to the sunrise symphony of the birds. He had been awakened earlier by the ringing notes of their singing, chirping, and chortling as the harmonious tones drifted in through his open window.
He looked forward to lazy days of fishing and swimming in both the canal and his favorite river swimming hole the “23.” No one really knew why it was called the 23, except that someone years ago was supposed to have dropped a rope down into the pool with a weight tied to the end. When it reached the bottom it was marked, and it allegedly measured twenty-three feet to the bottom. Buddy still enjoyed going to the fields with his father, but he also enjoyed these times of just being a boy.
He continued listening under the comfort of the warm covers. As he did so, he thought to himself, I wonder if Mont or Lionel can go fishing with me today, I’d sure like to see if we can catch old Big Tom.
When he entered the kitchen for breakfast that morning, his father had already left for the farm. His mother told him, “Daddy decided to let you sleep in this morning. He thought you might like to play with your friends. Have you made any plans for today?”
“Well, how about if I go fishing?”
“I thought I’d go see if Mont or Lionel could go with me.”
“Okay, but you promise to be careful, and don’t fool around too much.” Mrs. Crawfrod knew that the boys would not confine the activities to just fishing, but would have to get in a little swimming as well. Buddy was a pretty good swimmer by now, but even so, his mother was still apprehensive of him going swimming with a bunch of boys, most of whom were older than he.
Buddy finished his breakfast, grabbed the gourmet lunch consisting of tuna fish sandwiches, bottled peaches, potato chips, a thermos of milk, and the chocolate cupcakes his mother usually baked for these occasions; picked up the willow fishing pole his dad had fixed up for him; and ran out the door yelling, “Ill see you later, Mamma.”
With the bill of his baseball cap tilted on the top of forehead, exposing a lock of his natural platinum blond hair, he hurried on over to his cousin Lionel’s house to see if he and his older brother Monty could go fishing with him. Buddy really liked Monty. He was a gentle, kind soul, and though he was several years older than Buddy, he always treated Buddy with respect, just as if they were both the same age. Some people thought Monty was mentally retarded; actually, he just hadn’t quite caught up with his peers. He and Buddy got along fabulously, because Buddy never really paid attention to the fact that Monty was not quite as swift as the other kids his age. He accepted him as he was, and there was nothing Monty would not do for Buddy.
Buddy tore into the room just off the kitchen that was used as Monty’s bedroom. Lionel had left, and Monty was still in bed.
“Good morning, Mont,” Buddy greeted. That’s what everybody called Monty, because another member of their group was also named Monte, only he spelled his name with an “e” on the end, instead of a “y”
“How’s about you and me goin’ fishin’ in the canal today?”
Mont rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Sure, he said. “You bring any worms with you? We’ll need some worms.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I plum forgot about bait.”
Mont threw back the covers. “That’s okay, we can dig some here. My dad watered the garden last night, so there should be some good worms fairly close to the top.”
“Terrific!” Buddy exclaimed. “You got a shovel?”
“Yeah, but I gotta get dressed and eat something first.”
After Mont and dressed and eaten his breakfast snack of cold cereal and toast, he walked out to the garage and came back with a spade and a can.
“Good show, Mont. Let’s get to it. You dig and I’ll pick the worms out of the dirt,” Buddy said.
It was easy digging, so it wasn’t long before they had harvested a big can full of nice, fat juicy worms. “Boy, these oughta make the fish smack their lips,” exclaimed and excited Buddy. “Come on Mont, let’s get goin. I woneer if we’ll be lucky enough to snag old Big Tom, today.” Big Tom was the name they had given to an old carp that resided in the canal. They had been trying to catch him for two summers. They figured he must be at least four feet long and weigh fifteen pounds or more.
It was a warm lazy day on the canal bank. Buddy was studying the fishing pole Mont had brought. “Isn’t that one of you Dad’s good poles? Did you ask him if it was okay to use it today?”
“Yes, ii is, Buddy. And no, I didn’t ask him, because I didn’t know we would be going fishing until you came over to my house this morning and asked me to go with you. So I didn’t have a chance to ask him.”
“Boy, I hope nothin’ happens to it, Mont. I wouldn’t dare use one of my dad’s good poles without asking him.”
“Nothin’s going to happen, Buddy. And besides, we’ll be home before Dad gets’ home, and he’ll never know I borrowed it.”
“Well, okay. It’s your neck, but I’d sure hate to lose a fishin’ partner because you get grounded for not asking to use that pole.”
“Will you relax, Buddy? Nothin’s gonna happen. I’ll be real careful.”
They had their poles anchored, and Buddy and Mont were lying on the bank chatting about this and that, not paying much attention to anything, when Buddy cried out, “Holy smokes, Mont! There goes your fishing pole tearing lickety-split down the canal. Quick, grab it. Grab it!”….
Will Edwinson is an award-winning story teller for his fiction, and an award winning columnist. His second book, Buddy ... His Trials and Treasures, won a first place in state competition, and a second place at national. His "A Bit Of Nostalgia" column that he wrote under another name, won second and first place, awards in two separate competitions from the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association.
Edwinson grew up in rural Southeast Idaho during the 1940s. After his college stint, he made his living on the family farm in Southeast Idaho as a dry land farmer raising barley and wheat, always holding onto the dream he had harbored for most of his life-that of being a writer-but still not confident that he had the necessary abilities and skills for such a career. After reaching mid-life, he determined that if he were ever going to be a writer, it was time to begin. His first book was launched when he was in his mid-fifties.
Edwinson is basically a self-taught author. His passion lay toward storytelling, so he began reading fiction of every genre to get a grasp of different writing styles and writing techniques. He also took advantage of the many books and manuals on writing that were available. These are mentioned on his Links & Lists page at his website, www.willedwinson.com. He is also a graduate of Writer's Digest Short Story Writing course.
In his younger years, Edwinson was also a semi-professional singer, performing on stages from Sun Valley, Idaho, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. He also demonstrates a flair as an inventor. Out of necessity,to teach his two youngest daughters some rudimentary money management skills, he invented and Trademarked a children's allowance management system, "The Child's Checkmaster." which enabled parents and children to keep better track of the children's allowance draws and which also taught the children some rudimentary money management skills.
What inspired you to write this book?
Actually it was a neighbor. We were talking about one of my other books and she said, “You ought to write a book about my great grand-aunt. And I said, who might that be? She said, “LouIsa Houston-Earp. She was Sam Houston’s granddaughter, and she was also a Harvey girl”. And not knowing what a Harvey girl was, I asked her, “what was a Harvey girl.”
She explained to me that Fred Harvey owned and operated high end restaurants in several railroad depots during the 19th century, and these girls were waitresses in those restaurants. Then she went on to tell me that LouIsa had also been married to Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp’s younger brother. This piqued my interest. We talked a bit more and my creative juices began to flow. Since not much had been written about the real-life LouIsa, I had to create my own character. She was a real person, but not exactly the same person as the one in my story.
How did you come up with the concept of the characters for the book?
Actually, I didn’t. They just came into the story as I was writing it. I don’t write from outlines. I agree with Stephen King. He says outlines kill the creative spirit. He says, “just write the damn story” so that’s what I did. The characters came into the story as needed.
What did you enjoy most about writing the book?
Anticipating where the characters were going to take me. They actually wrote the book. I just went along for the ride, but I have to say it was a fun and exciting ride. Full of exciting experiences and surprises.
Who designed your book cover?
Cherry Art & Graphics Design
Do you feel the characters high jacked your story?
I wouldn’t go so far as to say they high-jacked the story, but they did play a great role. I’d have an idea for a scene in my mind and would start to write the scene. The characters said to me: “Sorry, Will, but we don’t agree with what you have in mind. Just sit back and write what we tell you. It will be much better.”
Convince us why your book is a must read.
Because I believe it’s full of interesting situations.
When did you first consider yourself as a writer.
For most of my life I felt I didn’t have the talent to be a writer. Then at age 55, I said to myself, “Will, if you’re ever going to do it, you’d better get started, or it will be too late. So at age 55 I wrote my first book (which, as of this time, I have not submitted for publication).”
Have you written any other books that are not published?
As of this date, the one mentioned in the previous question is the only one.
Who is your favorite author?
I really don’t have a favorite. I have read multiple books by many authors ranging from Robert B. Parker, Jack Higgins, Agatha Christie, Richard Paul Evans, Rosemund Pilcher, Adel Abbot, David Baldacci, Jonathan Cahn, Raymond Chandler, Don Coldsmith, Sydney Sheldon, George Orwell, Janet Evanovich, John Grisham, Winston Groom, F. Scott Fitzgerald Sue Grafton, and many others too numerous to include here.
How would you describe your writing style?
Light—and I hope—interesting.
Do your characters come to you all at the same time?
No, they just appear as the story progresses. They all seem to know when it’s the right time to enter the story.
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